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Rugby Lions (6) 16  Harrogate (8) 15

Rugby Lions eventually overcame an aggressive Harrogate side in this hard-fought cup tie between the two table-topping teams in National League 2.

This was definitely the Tetley Match of the Day. Rugby are the only team to have beaten Gate in the league and the Yorkshire side were clearly intent on revenge.

Harrogate were much the quicker into their stride on a sodden pitch and their penalty on 5 minutes was no surprise. Lions worked hard to make their own mark on the match and prolific fly-half Barry Muir kicked an equalising penalty on 18 minutes.

Handling errors by Lions allowed the dangerous Gate back line chances to run at Rugby's defence and it took determined tackling to keep them at bay.

A break by Lions full back Craig Quick led to another penalty for Muir. But the Harrogate breaks soon achieved the breakthrough they had been threatening - the impressive Ed Smithies scoring easily. Lions were lucky however that the easy conversion was missed to limit their half time deficit
to 6-8.

Harrogate began the second half as strongly as they had the first half. Rugby had brought on their returning lock Tim Collier. He immediately conceded a penalty that Gate squandered before rounding off irresistible Lions forwards pressure with an unconverted try on 48 minutes.

Barry Muir scored one of his trademark jinking tries after good work from Watson and Campbell to give Lions a somewhat flattering 16-8 lead.

When Rugby lock Muckalt was sin-binned for a high tackle with 6 minutes left, Harrogate took advantage with a converted try. However, the 40 minutes were up and another missed penalty kick just before this try proved costly for Harrogate.

Rugby go forward into round 3 where they will travel to play Liverpool St Helens who spoilt a prospective local derby by surprisingly beating Nuneaton.


Quick, Saunders, Jasnikowski, Campbell, Watson, Muir, Becconsall, Shadbolt, Woolrich (Dunn), Greenbury, S Smith, Field, Thompson (Collier), Wingham, Muckalt
Subs not used: Bailey, B Smith, Porteous

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Rugby Lions  / 7 Oct 00
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